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Why You Should Come To VCU If You’re A First-Gen Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

First-generation college students are people whose parents either did not go to college or did not graduate from college. I am an example of a first-generation student, as neither of my parents graduated from college. Being a first-generation college student is extremely difficult because we don’t have much help in the process of getting prepared for college. For example, many first-gen students struggle with turning in college applications, filling out their FAFSA paperwork, signing up for housing and classes and choosing what to buy when coming to college. Going through the college process with little support is not easy and can feel isolating, lonely and overwhelming. This is why I love VCU! Being a first-gen student at VCU provides you with aid and support from your peers and professors.

1. You first program

As a member of the You First program here at VCU, I can share how much it has benefitted me as a student and a person. The program helps first-gen students to have help in school and find a community at VCU. My favorite part of You First is the mentorship program. I currently serve as a You First mentor, and it has been such a rewarding and amazing experience. I have been able to lead students both my age, older than me and younger than me. I have also created new bonds and friendships with like-minded people. This program is a great way to find a home away from home.

2. Scholarships & grants

VCU has an extensive list of scholarships and grants for incoming and current students. These scholarships and grants vary between those who may be eligible, but there are some that are exclusively for first-generation students!

3. SUmmer scholars

The You First program has a “Summer Scholars” program for first-generation freshman students! This program is tailored to get students used to the college environment before everyone else gets on campus. During this time, students take classes, do bonding activities and spend time with other first-generation students.

4. Financial advising

VCU has a phenomenal financial advising team! The staff members will help students fill out their FAFSAs, take out loans, apply for other financial aid opportunities, etc. This is a great resource for students who may be confused about their finances and need extra help.

5. academic advising

The academic advising team at VCU is top-tier! Each major has a team of advisors to help students register for classes and truly understand what field of work they want to go into.

In conclusion, I believe that VCU is the best university to attend as a first-generation student. The help and support that I’ve received from the school is unmatched. I have met so many amazing peers and professors through You First that I wouldn’t trade them for the world! Thanks to this program, I feel ready to enter my junior year and, eventually, take on the workforce.

Irelyn Rogan is studying Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. Irelyn is a third-year student, and this is her fifth semester as a HerCampus journalist! She is very interested in lifestyle, pop culture, and entertainment in general.